FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is considering reducing the civil service as part of Strategic Program Review. More than 1,000 positions could be affected by eliminating vacant positions following retirements, layoffs, departmental consolidations and outsourcing some back-office functions to the private sector.

This figure would also include employees affected by the previously-announced spans and layers exercise which could result in a reduction of senior management in government.

“The changes that are being considered would be made to areas of the public service which do not include employees of health authorities or school boards,” said Health Minister Victor Boudreau, who is minister responsible for the Strategic Program Review. “Throughout our engagement process, New Brunswickers have widely supported reshaping the civil service and finding administrative efficiencies in order to address our financial challenges.”

There are currently more than 9,000 people employed in Part I of the public service, commonly referred to as the civil service, which encompasses all government departments, but does not include employees of the health authorities or school boards.

“Our government has already reduced the number of deputy ministers by 30 per cent and cut the pay of the premier and cabinet, but we believe there may be further opportunities to rightsize the civil service, while making it more effective,” said Boudreau. “Our objective, if the decision is taken to move forward with all or some of these reductions, would be to minimize the impact on employees by focusing on eliminating positions through attrition and helping displaced workers get back into the job market.”

Reshaping the civil service is one of six key initiatives mentioned in the document Choices to Move New Brunswick Forward designed to get New Brunswick back on a secure fiscal foundation.

The other five key initiatives are:

  • increasing the Harmonized Sales Tax;
  • reducing spending on health care;
  • reducing spending on education;
  • introducing highway tolls; and
  • increasing the Corporate Income Tax.

The public is encouraged to find out more about all of the choices and the Strategic Program Review online.